Veteran Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga is likely to join the Mumbai Indians camp to be available for at least two early-season games in IPL 2019. The news came after Sri Lanka Cricket agreed upon BCCI’s urge on making the pacer available for the league as much as possible.
According to ESPNCricinfo, Malinga hence will be available for selection for the next two matches where Mumbai will play against Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 28 and versus Kings XI Punjab on March 30 respectively. The pacer will then return to his country for the Super Provincial One-Day Tournament before he rejoins the franchise after April 10.
The report added that BCCI has urged SLC for the last three days to reconsider their decision. Well, SLC depends heavily on the Indian cricket board for the broadcast income from Indian tours and also look for BCCI’s support in a bid to start the Lankan Premier League franchise tournament later this year.
Malinga had earlier ruled himself out of the first six games of IPL 2019 as SLC had made it clear to their players that they would be eligible for World Cup team selection only if they make themselves available for the domestic tournament. And, Malinga was named the skipper of the Galle side. However, chief selector Ashantha de Mel clarified that Malinga’s World Cup spot will not be under threat in case of absence.
“We have no issues if he goes to IPL – the board had given him a no-objection certificate already, so he’s free to go,” said de Mel. “Anyway he has been one of our best bowlers in one-dayers, so there’s no question about his place in the team.”
Malinga will now first reach Sri Lanka before joining the Mumbai Indians camp. His return to home will be confirmed once SLC announces the dates for the Super Provincial One-Day Tournament. It is expected to be scheduled from April 4 to 11. (Times Now)